California is holding a rare, off-year statewide election on Tuesday in which voters will cast their ballot on just one issue: whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should get to keep his job.
Newsom, who was voted in to the office in November 2018, is just the second California governor in the state’s history to face a recall election. Nearly 50 candidates are running to replace him, should the effort succeed.
In-person early voting is already underway at select polling locations/vote centers around the state, and millions have already returned their absentee ballots by mail or at a secure drop-box location.
For the Sept. 14 election, California voters are being asked two questions.
The first question is: “Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of governor?” Voters have two possible answers: “Yes” or “No.”
Voting “yes” means the person favors Newsom’s removal from office, while a “no” vote means he should remain in office through the end of his first term.
The second question asks who should replace Newsom, and gives voters the choice to select one of 46 candidates who qualified for the ballot (full list here), or from the list of write-in candidates (full list here). Newsom cannot run as a replacement candidate, so any write-in votes for him won’t count.
Voters can choose to answer one or both parts, according to state election officials.
If more than 50% of voters cast a “no” ballot, Newsom stays in office through Jan. 2, 2023, which is when the term is over. However, he is eligible to run for a second term in 2022.
But if more than 50% vote for the recall, Newsom will be removed from office, and the candidate with the most votes will become governor and serve the remainder of the term.
The new governor would take office after the California Secretary of State certifies the election results, which will happen Oct. 22.
California’s next gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022, when all statewide offices will be up for grabs. The primary for the 2022 election is on June 7.